The 6 largest airlines companies worldwide

Oluwatosin Jegede

The airline industry is a big deal. In 2023, it’s worth $841.4 billion. That’s a big jump of 22% from 2020, when it was $686 billion. Why was it low in 2020? The coronavirus pandemic hit. People weren’t traveling because of it, and many rules came into place.

But good news. The industry has bounced back. In fact, it’s even passed the value from before the pandemic. That was $828 billion in 2019. So, things are looking up again. Now, let’s see who the big players are. Here are the top airlines in 2023.

1. American Airlines

American Airlines is big. In fact, it’s the biggest airline in the world when we talk about how many passengers it carries, how far it travels, and the size of its fleet.

In 2022, the airline made $29.9 billion. They have a lot of employees, 123,400 to be exact. And they own 935 planes.

Every day, they run about 6,800 flights. They fly to 350 places in over 50 countries. If you’ve heard of the Oneworld alliance, well, they helped start it. It’s the third-biggest airline group in the world.

They also have a smaller service called American Eagle. They have ten main spots in the U.S. where they operate, and Dallas/Fort Worth is the biggest one. Guess how many people fly with them daily? Around 500,000! In a year, that’s over 200 million people.

2. Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines is big. It’s the second-largest in carrying people but tops in earnings and value. In 2022, they made $29.9 billion, had 83,000 staff, and 915 planes.

Every day, Delta flies 5,400 flights to 325 places worldwide. They’re part of SkyTeam, a major airline group. They’re also the only U.S. airline going to cities like Copenhagen and Lagos.

Delta has a rich history. They grew a lot in the 1970s and got even bigger in 1991 by taking over some Pan Am routes. Also, they have a rewards program for regular flyers named Delta Air Lines. They are undoubtedly one of the largest airlines today.

3. United Airlines

United Airlines, or just “United,” is big. It’s the third largest airline in the world if you look at the number of planes and where they fly.

In 2022, they made $24.63 billion. They employ 92,795 people and have 891 planes. They mostly fly long routes in the U.S., but they also go to six continents every day.

Chicago-O’Hare is their main spot. It’s super busy with lots of planes taking off and landing. United helped start the Star Alliance, which is the biggest group of airlines in the world. They also have a smaller service called United Express that flies within the U.S. They also care about our planet. United is working hard to use less fuel and try other green fuels.

4. Lufthansa

Lufthansa is a big name in the skies. It’s the largest airline in both Germany and Europe when you see how many people it flies.

In 2022, they earned $16.3 billion. They have 107,643 employees and 710 planes.

Being Germany’s main airline, it’s also a big part of the Star Alliance, the biggest airline group in the world.

Lufthansa doesn’t just fly. They own other big airlines like Austrian Airlines and Eurowings. Plus, they have companies doing different things. Lufthansa Technik AG is a star in fixing planes in Europe. Speaking of planes, they had to say goodbye to all their Airbus A340-600 planes in 2021.

5. Emirates

Emirates is a big deal in the UAE. It’s the main and biggest airline there. In 2022, they made $16.1 billion. They employ 105,730 people and have 262 planes.

Each week, Emirates flies 3,600 flights. They go to 150 cities in 80 countries, making them the top airline in the Middle East.

Though they started in 1985, they’re younger than many airlines. But they’ve done well, making money almost every year. And they’ve been growing fast since they began.

Emirates isn’t alone. They’re part of The Emirates Group, owned by Dubai’s government. Besides flying, they have other businesses. They have seven companies doing things like fixing planes and planning trips.

6. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines started small in 1967, flying only in Texas. But it grew big. Now, it’s the biggest airline in the U.S. for local flights.

In 2022, they made $15.79 billion. They have 66,100 workers and a whopping 792 planes.

During busy travel times, they fly 4,000 flights to 109 places in the U.S. Every single one of their planes is a Boeing 737. That makes them the top users of this plane in the world.

The largest Airlines continually adapt to global challenges and shape global travel

The airline industry is vast, with carriers continuously adapting to global challenges and passenger needs. From the early days of intrastate flights to today’s expansive global networks, these six airlines showcase resilience, growth, and the ability to revolutionize air travel.

As global connectors, they not only transport people but also cultures, economies, and ideas. As we progress into the future, it’s certain these airlines will continue to shape the journey of global aviation.

Read also: The 8 biggest pharma companies holding a total revenue of nearly $ 1,5 trillion

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